PsychNology Journal, Volume 13, Number 2-3, 259 - 286

Interactional practices and artifact orientation in mobile augmented reality game play

Steven L.Thorne
Portland State University, USA and University of Groningen, The Netherlands

John Hellermann, Adam Jones, Daniel Lester
Portland State University, The Netherlands


In an effort to better understand the ways that small groups use digital technology as they move through a physical environment, this paper describes the methods used by groups of three people to maintain a group participation structure as they accomplish a quest-type task during mobile augmented reality game play. The game was available on one mobile digital device (an Apple iPhone) that was shared by three players as they negotiated a set of point-to-point route finding tasks. Video-recordings of each group were made using three cameras (two head-mounted cameras and one hand-held camera). We focus on the different ways that the single device was oriented to by group members via talk-in-interaction as they accomplished the game activity. In particular, we outline the practices for talk-in-interaction (including gaze, postural alignment, and deictic expressions) used by the participants to maintain their constitution as a group, to accomplish a shared visual focus on the single device, and to explicitly transfer the device from one player to another.

KEYWORDS: mobility, mobile augmented reality games, mobile technologies, locative media, small group interaction, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, spatial orientation.

Thorne, S., Hellermann, J., Jones A. & Lester D. (2015). Interactional practices and artifact orientation in mobile augmented reality game play. PsychNology Journal, 13(2-3), 259 - 286. Retrieved [month] [day], [year], from

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PsychNology Journal Volume 13, Number 2-3